The "Energy Harvesting Technologies" is a technology for utilizing the energy widely sipersed but not used now, such as electromagnetic wave, indoor artificial light, body temperature, waste heat, human action, natural vibration etc..
The dispersed energy has not been paid enough attention because the energy is generally small and unstable, difficult to convert into stable electric energy, and there are no elements or devices operable with such slight electric power. However, owing to the recent development of low power consumption semiconductor devices, an element operable with slight electricity is invented, which brought in the reality of dilution dispersion energy utilization.
Dilute dispersion energy utilization technology is composed of following technologies: energy conversion; energy conversion material; energy storage; energy transfer; system control; low power circuit; packaging; and other technologies. These technologies currently cannot support the slightness and unstable features of the dilution dispersion energy sufficiently, especially, the energy conversion technology including the energy conversion material technology is remained unestablished. As a result, there remain numerous basic technological problems to be solved.
At present, due to the research work mainly at universities, the technological level of Japan is high compared with other countries, however, in order to establish basic technology for the dilution dispersion energy utilization technology, more intensive R&D effort is required.
The R&D themes can be broadly divided into two as follows:
- The basic research on elemental technologies composing the dilute dispersion energy utilization technology including: energy conversion; energy conversion material; energy storage; energy transfer; system control; low power circuit; packaging; and other technologies.
- Development of specific application method of the dilute dispersion energy conversion technology and the application system
For carrying out the R&D project, a proposed formation is as follows:
Sub teams are formed composed mainly of the researchers of various energy conversion technology, and the common technology team is formed composed of the researchers of the common technology (energy storage, energy transfer, system control, low power consumption circuit, packaging, and other technologies) that covers all the sub teams horizontally. The sub teams and the common technology team work closely together on the basic research for specific applications.